Levenshtein distance is the number of edits to get from one word like ‘Drake’ to ‘Drape’, which in this case is 1 since there is one substitution (p for k).
This is tricky to do in SQL but can be helpful if trying to identify ‘similar’ words in 2 tables.
Per this post on Lulu’s blog, this UDF can calculate the Levenshtein’s distance:
DELIMITER $$ CREATE FUNCTION levenshtein( s1 VARCHAR(255), s2 VARCHAR(255) ) RETURNS INT DETERMINISTIC BEGIN DECLARE s1_len, s2_len, i, j, c, c_temp, cost INT; DECLARE s1_char CHAR; -- max strlen=255 DECLARE cv0, cv1 VARBINARY(256); SET s1_len = CHAR_LENGTH(s1), s2_len = CHAR_LENGTH(s2), cv1 = 0x00, j = 1, i = 1, c = 0; IF s1 = s2 THEN RETURN 0; ELSEIF s1_len = 0 THEN RETURN s2_len; ELSEIF s2_len = 0 THEN RETURN s1_len; ELSE WHILE j <= s2_len DO SET cv1 = CONCAT(cv1, UNHEX(HEX(j))), j = j + 1; END WHILE; WHILE i <= s1_len DO SET s1_char = SUBSTRING(s1, i, 1), c = i, cv0 = UNHEX(HEX(i)), j = 1; WHILE j <= s2_len DO SET c = c + 1; IF s1_char = SUBSTRING(s2, j, 1) THEN SET cost = 0; ELSE SET cost = 1; END IF; SET c_temp = CONV(HEX(SUBSTRING(cv1, j, 1)), 16, 10) + cost; IF c > c_temp THEN SET c = c_temp; END IF; SET c_temp = CONV(HEX(SUBSTRING(cv1, j+1, 1)), 16, 10) + 1; IF c > c_temp THEN SET c = c_temp; END IF; SET cv0 = CONCAT(cv0, UNHEX(HEX(c))), j = j + 1; END WHILE; SET cv1 = cv0, i = i + 1; END WHILE; END IF; RETURN c; END$$ DELIMITER ;
SELECT levenshtein('New-York', 'Paris') as test